Peace, please?


I don’t talk about myself very much, because I value my privacy very much. But this post is very personal.  I decided to share my story because I believe that a lot of you are feeling the same unease that I am about our upside-down world.

In such uncertain and downright scary times as these, the lucky ones have religion to turn to. I am not so lucky. Religion has always made me uncomfortable.  I think of myself as more of a spiritual being than a religious person.  Also, I have a complicated relationship with God.  Born a Catholic, my butt was planted in a church pew every Sunday, until I left for college.  With the birth of my daughter, the church angered me so badly that I just stopped going.  It wasn’t God that I was mad it; it was his misguided earthly emissaries {minions? HA ;>} that raised my ire.  (And they still do!)

As a kid growing up in the South, where everyone seemingly has read the Bible at least once all the way through, I smugly told my friends that Catholics don’t study the Bible (which was true then, and may still be so). Anyway, the closest I came to any biblical exposure was the priest reading the Sunday gospel which, to me, usually sounded like “and blah, blah, blah. Amen!”  I now envy those who can quote chapter and verse from the Bible; with that knowledge, they have God’s words as guidance when navigating life’s dilemmas.

To further complicate things, many years ago, I asked God for a wish. I solemnly promised that if He granted me that wish, I would never ask Him for anything EVER AGAIN!  Well, He delivered in spades, so I don’t ask favors…not even to be able to walk again. (LeeAnn, who had a close relationship with the Almighty [and no, I am not being sarcastic!] says that is ridiculous; God doesn’t have favor quotas!) But I do think that’s why I have a hard time praying.  If I’m not asking for anything, what do we talk about?  As far as I can figure out, there’s  nothing I can say that He doesn’t already know, including what is in my heart. So, I just give up.

But lately, I have been feeling such a sense of unease about life in general. Writing a post about paint colors and new furniture seems so inane, when there is so much suffering occurring around the world. My personal belief/value system no longer seems to exist. Could it be that my reality was just smoke and mirrors? In this strange world, it seems that right is wrong, good is evil, and everything is relative!

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I need a closer relationship with God now. I need to know He will always be standing with me, giving me strength to face whatever the future holds.  But how to make that happen?

So, it occurred to me, the other day, as I was looking at decorating pics on the Internet, that maybe I have been using the wrong mode of prayer. What I found on Pinterest was a beautiful living room on the City Farmhouse blog, that showcased a large framed quote, the contents of which took my breath away:

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Immediately after reading that quote, (which is an excerpt from the United Methodist hymnal (hymn #377), and authored by Horatio G. Spafford), the feeling of peace that came over me was amazing. In an instant, I realized that music is such an integral part of my life, which is why that verse touched me so deeply. For me, Christmas has always been about the beautiful carols that mark the season. So there it was:  in the future, God & I will converse through music!

Afterwards, I found myself trying to remember that verse. I felt the need to keep repeating it in my mind, like a mantra.  However, I could not recall the exact words.  So this version came to me, and with a bow to Horatio’s lyrics, this is the version that resonates with me (only because I can remember it!)

When peace like a river flows through my day,

Or when troubles have taken their toll,

With a heart full of thanks

Though hast taught me to say,

All is well, all is well with my soul!

My next project is to stencil those words on our bedroom wall.  (And yes, we are finally working on fixing up the “doggy lounge”! I will begin to unveil cover that whole process in the next post!)  Thus, it will be the last thing I read at night, and the first thing (besides Greg!) that greets me in the morning.

Another quote that I stumbled upon, comforts me enormously. If you ever doubt that God loves us unconditionally, please read this and keep it near your heart:

You are God’s Masterpiece –

started in His heart, formed by His hands,

and offered as a gift to the world.

Much more that a work in progress …

you’re His good work.

What He started in you

will gloriously unfold for a lifetime

and be completed in heaven.

He sees beauty in you

because you are made in His image

and redeemed by His love.

It’s true.

God says you are …

created, chosen, cherished, celebrated,

His forever. –Holly Gerth

There is nothing more I can add to this post than a hearty

amen

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About vkroo11

I am passionate about writing, as well as design/DIY/decorating. I decided to combine these skills in a blog, that describes the joys and challenges of transforming a shaggy, baggy elephant of a mountian house into a stunning home.
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